Hitachi 42HDS69 Plasma Display - Part 2

Like all displays, to achieve the best possible picture, you NEED to calibrate your display. You usually do this after the break in period for a Plasma. How do I calibrate my display? There are 3 main ways of calibrating displays. One method involves purchasing calibration software which will walk you through the process. The two main companies that offer such discs are AVIA and DVE. These usually cost around $30 which isn't that bad. Sometimes you can rent them from or Netflix. The second method is buying movies that contain calibration tools. The most common one is the THX Optimizer. You are pretty much guaranteed to have at least one of these in your posession. Just look for a movie with the THX log on it and put it in your player. Find the THX optimizer and select the video calibration. So cost technically could be $0 since you probably already have an existing movie with it. The third option is paying a professional ISF calibrator to come in and do the calibration. Be warned, ISF calibration IS NOT CHEAP. You probably will be looking at around $400 a display. However ISF calibrators also have special equipment that can more accurately process colors, determine contrast/brightness, as well as access special service menus that give the calibrator even specialized areas for tweaking the display.

So to recap calibration options:

  1. THX Optimizer found on most THX Optimized DVDs.
    Pros: Practically free if you have a movie that contains the THX Optimizer.
    Cons: Now as accurate as DVDs specifically for calibration.
  2. Calibration discs like AVIA or DVE.
    Pros: More accurate than the THX Optimizer DVDs. They usually offer more in depth tweaking than the THX Optimzer discs
    Cons: Costs about $30. Some of the material on the discs may not be usuable by yourself unless you have special equipment.
  3. ISF Calibrators.
    Pros: Pretty much guaranteed to give you the absolute best picture quality your display can achieve. Much better than options 1 & 2. Cons: Expensive! As stated, look for around $400 a pop to get your display calibarated. Making arrangements for the calibrator to come and calibrate your display.

Basically Option 2 is your best overall option. If you really want the best your display can offer, go with option 3.

Video Options
The Hitachi 42HDS69 really has alot of video tweakability. The video menu options include:

  • 3 Picture Modes (Day-Normal, Day-Dynamic, and Night). Each one is customizable and each input has it's own 3 settings to tweak. That way if you tweak HDMI input 1 three different ways and you can still make 3 different settings for HDMI input 2. This is quite handy.
  • Contast: 0-100 range. I personally run this around 43.
  • Brightness: 0-100 range. I personally run this around 48.
  • Color: 0-100 range. I run this around 32.
  • Tint: Determines how flesh tones appear. I run this about 3 or 4 clicks right of center.
  • Sharpness: 0-100 range. I personally do not want any sharpness at all. This adds noise and other imperfections to the video source. So I run this at 0.
  • Color Temp: High, Medium, or Standard. I set mine to Medium.
  • Black Enhancement: Helps black levels and ranges from Off, low, med, high. I have mine set to Off.
  • Contrast Mode: Either Standard or Dynamic. I have mine set to Standard.
  • Noise Reduction: This can be used to reduce any noise that happens to be in a source signal. You can choose from Off, Low, Med, or High. I have mine set at Med.
  • Auto Movie Mode: Basically turning On or Off 3:2 Pull down of video. I have mine on.

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